Judd Finkelstein

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Wine Country Chic, Napa Valley Style

When the invitation says “wine country casual,” what does that mean?  That’s what attendees of this year’s Auction Napa Valley, on the first weekend of June, had to think about when deciding what to wear.  The four day long event includes dinners at wineries, a food and wine festival with a barrel auction, and the live wine auction. Thursday night dinners at wineries are perhaps the most casual of the events, a low key way to ease into the weekend.  At St. Supéry Vineyards, Kara Butler wore a Tilly’s denim jacket, Express white dress and Ariat boots.  “These are the same cowboy boots that I where when I go through the vines so I thought what’s better than that?” Pam Prahm chose an Anthropoligie top, thinking about dining in the vineyard.  “Just something casual and fun.” At Friday’s barrel auction, held at Raymond Vineyards, stripes and long dresses trended for…

DRINK – Tasting the “new generation”

Now this is the way to hold a seminar…with wine tasting between and even during sessions.  Three California wine organizations held this event at Cavallo Point (in Ft. Baker on the Marin side of the Golden Gate).  The 40-something and younger winemakers were pouring their wines, and talking it up on subjects ranging from wine styles to the impact of social media.  They’re a passionate, dedicated group and their wines are worth discovering, or trying again.  Karl Wente’s wearing thong sandals, which pretty much sums up the casual laid back atmosphere for me.  One vintner said he thinks the California style is going back to the basics, with natural yeasts and fermentations. Star Lane and Dierberg Estate Winery – winemaker Nick de Luca was pouring a ’08 Dierberg Chard that was crisp and fruity, with a kiss of barrel. I’ve been to the Star Lane ranch property, in the Santa Ynez…